Shooting Tips

9 Quick Tips for Airguns Everyone Should Know

1. Do not dry fire spring air guns.
Do not fire your spring-powered air rifle or pistol without a pellet or two felt cleaning pellets in the chamber.

2. Do not over-adjust the trigger.
Over-adjusting could render the air gun inoperable.

3. Clean the bore of your air guns.
Get more spring airgun maintenance tips.

4. Use the correct lubrication on your air guns.
WD40 and 3-in-1 oils are NOT suitable.  Use RWS lubes or similar high grade lubricants designed for air guns.

5. Always check for loose screws and parts before, during, and after shooting.
This ensures consistent performance and is a good practice for any mechanical system.

6. Always place one drop of airgun oil on the tip of the CO2 capsule before installing.
Click here to see more tips about using CO2 with airguns.

7. When using Rotary Magazines with Umarex pistols, make sure the pellet is seated properly.
Do not use conical (pointed) pellets. Pellets should not stick out past the rotary magazine’s surface.

8. Hold spring air rifles loosely.
Holding a spring air rifle too tightly will reduce accuracy and could damage the gun.

9. Don’t be forceful when returning cocking levers to their closed position.
Forcing a lever closed will bend the cocking lever. Under- and side-lever air rifles have a release button.

12 Spring Gun Shooting Tips for Accuracy

The RWS 34P Panther is a Spring Piston Air Rifle. Click image to learn more.

The RWS 34P Panther is a Spring Piston Air Rifle. Click image to learn more.

This article of shooting tips for improving your accuracy was originally written for RWS guns, but applies to all spring piston air guns.

  1. Be patient as you break in your new gun. Spring piston airguns typically require 500-1,000 shots to break in properly. Groups may be erratic for the first 100+ shots.
  2. DO NOT bench rest on ANY solid objects! NO part of the gun should rest on a rigid surface or object.
  3. Stabilize your shooting surface.  Utilize sand bags, pillows, or folded quilts as a shooting surface. This helps stabilize the gun so that you can verify the gun’s accuracy instead of the gun & shooter combined.
  4. Protect your gun barrel.  The gun barrel is NEVER to rest on any surface when shooting.
  5. Position the gun so that it is resting and pointing at a specific target point without being held. You can then ease into the shooting position without changing sight picture. By taking out as much of the “human factor” of holding the gun, your accuracy will most likely improve.
  6. SQUEEZE the trigger – pulling the trigger or jerking the trigger will result in terrible accuracy.
  7. Make sure to follow-through for every shot. Try not to blink when the gun fires and continue to focus on the precise point of aim.
  8. Always hold the gun “loosely” at the forearm and in the shoulder. Spring guns usually become inaccurate when held tightly.
  9. Use a consistent position & grip.  Changing your shooting position or grip can and will affect your point of impact.
  10. Become familiar with your rifle and your ammo.  Each rifle is individual and has its own characteristics. To achieve the best performance, you should try an RWS Pellet Sampler pack of pellets to see which ammo your gun shoots the most accurately.
  11. Don’t use junk ammo.  Use only high quality pellets in your rifle, such as the RWS line of pellets. They are much cleaner and manufactured to more exacting tolerances.
  12. Never dry fire a spring gun.  Dry firing your spring rifle can damage your gun.

Many competent air rifle fans are aware of these rules.  How many do you think consistently follow all of them?

 

How To Fix Scope Parallax Issues

All gun scopes, such as those made by RWS and Walther, can experience parallax issues.

All gun scopes, such as those made by RWS and Walther, can experience parallax issues.

by: Glenn and Danny

Editor’s Note: This articles comes directly from gunsmiths who work at Umarex USA.

Whenever we get into a discussion with someone about rifle scopes, inevitably the subject of parallax arises. Scope parallax confuses a lot of people, and there is a great deal of misunderstanding on the subject.

First things first; the term “parallax” is used to describe the difference in angles between objects that are seen up close and those seen far away. When you are driving and look at telephone poles pass by on the side of the road, those closest to your car seem to pass very fast, while the ones far away seem to go very slow. That difference is due to parallax.

The lens can focus the object in front of the reticle (in this case the retina of your eye) and cause parallax issues.

The lens can focus the object in front of the reticle (in this case the retina of your eye) and cause parallax issues.

In general, it is wise to keep the old phrase in mind, “The better you can see your sights and your target, the more accurately you will shoot.”  However, that phrase is only true as long as your sights are pointing in the same place from one shot to the next. Telescopic sights allow you to see much further distances, but they create new sighting problems with rifles that never were a problem in the old iron-sighting days.

A scope with parallax issues can wreak havoc on a person’s air rifle accuracy as well as sanity! We see this issue frustrate people to no end time and time again in our service and gunsmith departments. If you don’t know what’s going on and how to check for this problem then you could be wasting hours at the range trying to figure out what is causing the “accuracy” problem.

Many modern day airgun scopes have an adjustable objective (AO) feature, which is located at the forward end of the scope or the turret. There will be an adjustment ring with yardage numbers that can be rotated to coincide with the distance at which you are shooting.

If you are suspicious that there may be parallax issues with a scope then place the gun in a solid rest that totally supports the gun without you holding it. Place a target at a known distance and set the AO ring to coincide with that particular distance. Adjust the gun rest so that the crosshairs are centered on the bull’s-eye.

 

The AO yardage marks are visible on many scopes today.

The AO yardage marks are visible on many scopes today.

Adjust a gun while on a solid “hands free” rest to correct for parallax.

Now, move your head left and right about 1” in each direction. The crosshairs should remain centered on the bull’s-eye as you move your head left and right. If the crosshairs are wandering off the bull’s-eye then there is an issue with the parallax at that distance for that scope when you are shooting it.

It should be noted that distances marked on the scope are not necessarily written in stone. A person’s own optics of their eye comes in to play for a certain scope at a certain distance. Some scopes do not put markings on the scopes for this very reason, instead saying to use the test (above) to find the point of zero parallax error for each distance and then use a silver or white paint pen to mark the positions. If you do notice an issue with parallax on your gun, you can try rotating the AO incrementally to see if the parallax issue can be eliminated, and then noting the position that the AO is in for that distance. If you are unable to eliminate the parallax, then we suggest replacing the scope with another one.

Adjust a gun while on a solid "hands free" rest to correct for parallax.

Adjust a gun while on a solid “hands free” rest to correct for parallax.

The parallax issue is a critical one for hunters and target shooters. The crosshair remaining centered on the bull’s-eye when moving your head left and right is of utmost importance. The reason being…if you didn’t position your cheek at the exact same spot on the stock each time you are shooting then it would be like moving the rear sight, which of course changes your point of impact. By its very nature, parallax is more of an issue at close distances and becomes less of one the further out one aims. Because air rifles are usually aimed at much closer distances than firearms, parallax can be much more of an issue among air rifle shooters.

So, if you find yourself becoming increasingly frustrated with sighting in your rifle, look at parallax as an issue that might need to be eliminated.

 

 

 

Learn More about items mentioned in this article:

Fun with Airguns

Break out your air rifles, air pistols, airsoft guns, and RAM markers and get outside and have some fun with your closest friends and family. There are many games and targets for air guns that will excite you and challenge your competitive nature.

The first rule when setting up a game or competition is to always observe gun safety rules. Think about what might get hit if a shooter misses the intended target. Once you’ve determined the area you’re using is safe and legal, the fun can begin.

Umarex Morph 3XThere are many types of targets you can buy—spinning, shattering, and paper targets for example, but you don’t have to buy a target. If you use your imagination, airgun shooting can be convenient as well as fun and competitive for all ages. For example, a box of animal cookies could easily become a miniature silhouette range or if set up in various locations a safari hunt. Exploding a small piece of fruit with a gun like the Umarex Morph 3X or seeing who can bust a shredded mini-wheat with a BB gun is challenging.  Just imagine the explosion of a cheese ball or nacho chip! How about a lollipop! Take a look in your cabinets – consumable foods make great targets because they can be left as treats for wildlife.

Look around the outdoors, there’s all kinds of natural targets. Line up a row of acorns, stack some pine cones, or for a real air rifle challenge, hang a small branch with a leaf on it against a safe backstop and see who can shoot the leaf off the branch.

Beretta Elite IIIf you have a competitive nature, try knocking down golf tees or picking off toothpicks at 10-meters. Place a cocoa puff on top of a golf tee and hit the puff. If you want to see who’s airgun has more energy, see how far your airgun’s projectile will penetrate a bar of soap. On a windy day, put a small object on a swaying branch to create a moving target. To determine who’s the quickest shot, shoot at little green army men with your semi-auto BB pistol like the Beretta Elite II.

If you’re shooting an air gun with a youth, or someone that likes a target that provides a big reaction when hit, items that make noise or bust are best. Balloons, lollipops, tiny canisters partially filled with flour, and cap gun caps are great ideas. Charcoal briquets provide a good reaction as do packets of ketchup and mustard—just be prepared to hose down the mess.

Use your imagination when choosing airgun targets and your whole family will have fun shooting while becoming sharp-shooters without realizing it.

Spring Rifle Shooting Tips

For Air Rifles Powered by a Coiled Spring

Here are some tips on breaking-in and shooting a spring-powered air rifle:

  • Spring piston airguns, including break barrel, side lever, and under lever, typically require 500-1,000 shots to break in properly. Groups may be erratic for the first 100+ shots.
  • DO NOT bench rest on ANY solid objects! NO part of the gun should rest on a rigid surface or object.
  • Utilize sand bags, pillows, or folded quilts as a shooting surface.
  • A springer’s* barrel is NEVER to rest on any surface when shooting.
  • Position the rifle so that it is resting and pointing at a specific target point without being held. You can then ease into the shooting position without changing sight picture. By taking out as much of the “Human Factor” of holding the rifle, your accuracy will most likely improve.
  • SQUEEZE the trigger – pulling the trigger and or jerking the trigger will result in terrible accuracy.
  • Follow Through is Very Important. Try not to blink when the rifle fires and continue to focus on the precise point of aim.
  • Always hold the rifle “loosely” at the forearm and in the shoulder. Spring guns usually become inaccurate when held tightly.
  • Changing your shooting position or grip can and will affect your point of impact.
  • Scopes are to be mounted with 2.75″ to 3″ of eye relief.
  • DO NOT pull the trigger when the barrel is broken over. The barrel will fly up causing a bent barrel and could result in serious injury to you or someone else. Also, a cracked and/or broken stock may occur.
  • Each air rifle is an individual and has its own characteristics. To achieve the best performance, you should try an RWS Sampler pack of pellets to see which ammo your air gun shoots the most accurately.
  • Use only high quality pellets in your air gun, such as RWS air rifle pellets. RWS Airgun Pellets are much cleaner and manufactured to more exacting tolerances than many other brands.
  • Do not dry fire your spring air rifle as this can damage your rifle.

*A “springer” is an air rifle that utilizes a coiled spring inside the gun’s receiver.